Finding Stillness

In the inner and outer landscape

Pairing nature immersion with contemplative practice since 2003

“When we go into nature with mindful awareness, it allows our heart to be touched, moved, and inspired. This fuels the necessary work to bring about a radical transformation in how we live sustainably on this planet.” 

~Mark Coleman

Background & History

Awake in the Wild (AitW) was founded by Mark Coleman — a leading mindfulness meditation teacher, nature guide, and author.  Mark published the seminal nature meditation book, Awake in the Wild, in 2006, with an introduction by Jack Kornfield. 

Mark has led AITW retreats and programs in the U.S., Canada, Alaska, Europe, and Australia, and he leads apprenticeship AitW teacher training in the U.S. each year. He has now trained 50+ AitW teachers to lead their own AitW programs across the U.S, Canada, Europe, and beyond.

About The Practice

AitW programs focus on everything from opening the heart to joy,  to healing grief, to engaging in environmental activism. While many of our programs are hosted online, AitW teachers have led retreats in breathtaking settings across the globe — from the coast of Baja, Mexico, to the mountains of Peru, to the desert canyons of the South-West. These retreats include a wide variety of contemplative activities like hiking, backpacking, forest bathing, kayaking, river rafting, cross country skiing, rowing, canoeing, and more.

AitW teachers offer a wide variety of contemplative nature programs, from half day in person programs, to daily online meditation sessions, to full moon practice circles, to multi day wilderness retreats.

The Benefits of Nature Meditation

Nature immersion pulls us away from technology, out of our anxious minds, and into the rich beauty of the present moment. Attending to the subtle fragrance of flowers, the light in a grassy meadow, or the flowing movement of a river can relax, refresh, or enliven us.

Nature meditation can allow us to:

  • Tap into feelings of peace, joy, wonder, love, and well-being
  • Gain spiritual insights and understanding
  • Remember the preciousness of all life
  • Reconnect with ourselves, the earth, and our place in the web of life
  • Cultivate love and care for our planet

A few words from AitW founder – Mark Coleman

The Key Elements of AitW


We dwell in the present moment.

When we practice mindfulness, we become curiously aware of both our inner and outer environments that is conducive to insight and wisdom. Mindfulness refers to being aware, a natural ability to be fully attentive in the present moment. When we practice mindfulness, we become aware of our inner and outer experiences with clarity and insight. Modern research reveals this ancient practice of mindfulness can reduce our stress levels, increase our ability to focus, manage emotional reactivity, and improve our overall sense of wellbeing. With skilled guidance from the likes of AitW teachers, we can develop these valuable mindfulness skills.


We celebrate interdependence.

We live increasingly independent lives, cut off from one another in our cars, cubicles, and condos. When we consciously spend time in nature, we reconnect to the earth’s intricate web of life and all of its flora and fauna. The illusion of separation falls away. Through mindfulness in nature, we can forge deep connections with ourselves, with all living beings, and with the Earth itself. Our AitW teaching community is dedicated to helping people awaken to their interconnectedness with all life. 

Love for the Earth

We protect what we love.

The Earth is our greatest teacher; she reminds us about the preciousness and fragility of all living things. As we face a surmounting ecological crisis, it is crucial that we cultivate a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, our natural home and its myriad species and life forms. The more we connect to the Earth, the more interested we become in caring for our planet and its abundance of creatures and ecosystems. AitW teachers are connected by their passion for the natural world, their interest in helping preserve and protect nature, and a desire to share that passion with you.

“I feel like a different person. I feel completely at peace, very happy, to the core of my being.”

~ AitW retreat participant